Sunday, March 1, 2015

Getting Through Those Tough Winter Months

You've set your goals for the year. You've talked to your coach and put together a plan. You even got pumped at the thought of how much progress you could make before your next big race. Some of you even took some time off to refresh. But now you are either tired of training indoors staring at a wall, or you are just loathing the thought of indoor training all together!  

There's no magic formula to enjoy indoor training. However, to reach your goals it just has to get done. So how do you "get it done"?  How do you stay motivated and on track to reach those goals?

First, be realistic with your goals. If your shooting to PR a spring or early summer 1/2 marathon or 1/2 Ironman realize that some of your long days are going to have to be indoors. Mentally prepare yourself for that. Know that pushing yourself through it now pays dividends later. 

Second, if you are able train first thing in the morning. Sometimes, forcing yourself to get up and get it done in the morning helps avoid the extra stress of getting it done after a long day at work when your already mentally and physically fatigued from the day. 

Third, make a space for yourself. Clean up a spot and set up a TV or some speakers for music. Make sure you have enough ventilation and air flow to keep you cool. If you're staring at a concrete wall or in a dark boring garage things may get tough. Making your training environment a place you enjoy looking at will help mentally. 

Fouthly, mix up and break up your workouts. It's ok to do long intervals like 2x20's and even 3x30's, but when you do these switch something up every once in a while. For example, in a 3x30 workout try doing 5 minutes in aero and 1 minute on the hoods, or stand up for 30 seconds every 5 minutes.  Sometimes doing something different like that breaks up the time and makes the total time seem to go by faster. 

Lastly, try to find some classes or friends to train with. I'm teaching spin classes right now for outdoor cyclist. A lot of people enjoy the social aspect of our sport. Feeding on that mentally makes it more enjoyable. People find getting to gym to workout easier when they look forward to talking with friends, and sometimes even feeding off some friendly competition. 

What we do isn't always easy. Setting big goals and talking about it sounds easy, but putting in the work is hard. Get up, get dressed, get to the gym and get it done. A little persistence and pain now will equal big gains later. Keep that in perspective the next time you have those tough mental challenges of indoor training. 

Coach Meulen
TriDogz Training and Coaching Services

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How to start Running With Your Dog

I'm honored, today, to also be writing for and in conjunction with, Who Wants to Pawty LLC, a pet sitting and dog training business that operates in the west suburbs of Chicago. They've asked me to write a blog post to help their clients realize the considerations of running with their pets. 

Running is always more fun with a partner!  There's probably no one more willing and ready to head out for a run with you than your beloved dog. Lots of people run with their dogs for companionship, safety, or even just to wear Fido out so it's better behaved!

However, there is a lot to think about before heading out for a run with your pet. You need to consider your safety, the safety of others, and the safety of your pet. So what should we consider before running with your dog?

Firstly, your dogs age. Running with a puppy while its still developing can lead to permenant damage. You should consult your vet to determine if your pet is developed enough to run. The earliest is usually around 8 months, but larger breeds can sometimes develop more slowly. Even then you need to start slow and keep the distance down. Just like us, your dog needs to build to a distance slowly to keep from getting injured. 

Secondly, consider training. While your dog is young teach it to walk properly on a leash. Take it to a trainer and work on obedience and basic commands. There's nothing worse than an uncontrollable dog pulling its owner down a trail, lunging at innocent bystanders, or worse, darting out into the street.

Once, Fido is fully developed and is a well behaved pet walking on the leash, start building those run miles slow. Make sure to carry enough water for both of you on your trek's!  Enjoy your time with your buddy!  It may soon be the most favorite part of your pets day. If you happen to take a hiatus make sure you build the miles up slow again for you and your dog. Running distance takes some getting used to, and you need to start over again when you haven't done it for a while. 

Keep an eye on Fido's health and well being just like you do your own. Keep regular check ups with your vet, and take notice of any limps or changes in behavior. Remember, they can get running injuries just like you, and are not indestructable. 

Happy Runnng!
Coach Meulen

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The 4 Week Burpee Challenge

The 4 Week Burpee Challenge!!!!

When I got injured I had to make a lot of changes in my routines. Gone were the days of thinking that Swimming/Biking/Running more and harder was the only way to get faster at Swim/Bike/Run. I had to find a way to get stronger, more limber, and more mobile, or getting faster wasn't going to happen without injury. 

As I spend my winter putting in base miles, and training for spring races, I can't think of any better time to take up a challenge. A challenge that will force us to take the time to get stronger, more mobile, and hopefully, help us through a season of injury free training and racing. 

What better move to concentrate on than the one we all hate!  But, also the one move that incorporates all the movement and strength building important to us as endurance athletes. 

So I'm issuing a 4 week Burpee Challenge. 

Here it is!!!!...

5 days out of the week take 20 minutes and do your burpees!  Start with 10 minutes of foam rolling. Then get to business

Week 1- 5 days of 20 burpees each day
Week 2- 5 days of 30 burpees each day
Week 3- 5 days of 40 burpees each day
Week 4 -5 days of 50 burpees each day!

February 1 is tomorrow!  What a great day to start. good Luck!!!!!